There are many free, fun lessons about saving money. Whether you're a teacher or a parent, you can use these lessons to communicate the value of good money management and make the concept interesting at the same time.
Everyone Has to Learn from Someone
Did you learn about money management when you were a teenager? When you were a child, did your parents talk about the household budget in front of you? Did you discuss family purchases together? Who taught you how to manage a checkbook or to use credit? If your answers are no, no, and myself, you can see why it's hard for some people to progress financially.
The investment firm Charles Schwab conducted the "Parents and Money" survey in 2008. The results revealed that 57 percent of today's parents with teenagers wish they had been taught more about money management when they were teens. But, 70 percent of this same group responded that they were more likely to teach their children how to do laundry than pay bills.
The lesson here? Adults need to get children and teens involved in many aspects about managing money. One of the easiest ways to do this is to first teach children how to save. Read more results from the study.
Fun Lessons about Saving Money
The younger you encourage the mindset of saving, the better. Here are some fun lessons about saving money you can use with young children.
The Berenstein Bears Trouble with Money
Money Management International offers this crafty exercise featuring the classic children's book characters The Berenstein Bears. The cubs are spending too much money, and Mama and Papa Bear teach them how to save. The lesson plan includes many good questions to encourage children to think about saving, and the opportunity to make a "critter bank" (like a piggy bank) out of a milk carton or small box.
The Hundred Penny Box
Another fun lesson offered by Money Management International is the Hundred Penny Box. This lesson introduces Aunt Dew, who has saved 100 pennies in a box. Children will learn about saving different ways and earning more money, or interest, from saving.
This Little Piggybank Went to Market
At EconEdLink, students will make a piggy bank and print off a chart that outlines how they made money, what they saved, when they spent money, and on what.
Climbing the Savings Mountain
For teenagers 13-16, EconEdLink offers an interesting exercise called Climbing the Savings Mountain. Students have to think of two items they want to buy, one in three months, and another five years later, and create savings strategies for each. Follow this link on the site for more lessons about money.
Play Money Trivia
The history of money, what other cultures use for money, and other factoids help educate someone about money in a different way. Trivia questions can be tailored for grade-school children up to older teens.
- Is paper money made of paper? No - it's a cotton/linen blend.
- Where did the dollar sign originate? From the Spanish peso, which the U.S. considered using as currency for a brief time.
- What are some other objects that have been used for currency? Clay tablets, conch shells, ivory, grain, and livestock.
- Three quarters, four dimes and four pennies add up to $1.19. This is a large amount of coins, but can you use it to make change for a dollar? No.
There are a number of sites that have money-themed interactive games.